Trump Says That He’s A “Very Stable Genius”

Donald Trump's latest Twitter rant is one of his most bizarre.

Trump Twitter

Donald Trump took to Twitter this morning to defend his mental stability in the wake of the release of a new book that is raising new questions about that very same issue:

WASHINGTON — President Trump, in an extraordinary defense of his mental capacity and fitness for office, described himself on Saturday as a “genius” and “a very stable genius at that.”

In a series of Twitter messages that seemed to respond to revelations in a new book, Mr. Trump defended himself by charting his rise to the presidency, saying one of his chief assets throughout his life was “being, like, really smart.”

Even for a president who has shattered many of the conventions of the office, Mr. Trump’s response to the criticisms in the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by Michael Wolff, stood out. The book includes depictions by top White House staff members painting Mr. Trump as an uninformed and at times erratic president.

By taking on the issue so directly, the president ensures that the discussion of his capacity will only intensify. He is set to undergo a physical examination this coming week, but those tests for presidents do not generally involve mental acuity.

Mr. Trump is at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, this weekend, meeting with Republican leaders, cabinet officials and top aides to discuss the agenda for 2018.

Even for a president who has shattered many of the conventions of the office, Mr. Trump’s response to the criticisms in the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by Michael Wolff, stood out. The book includes depictions by top White House staff members painting Mr. Trump as an uninformed and at times erratic president.

By taking on the issue so directly, the president ensures that the discussion of his capacity will only intensify. He is set to undergo a physical examination this coming week, but those tests for presidents do not generally involve mental acuity.

Mr. Trump is at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, this weekend, meeting with Republican leaders, cabinet officials and top aides to discuss the agenda for 2018.

The long-simmering argument about the president’s state of mind has roiled the political and psychiatric worlds and thrust the country into uncharted territory. Democrats in Congress have introduced legislation to force the president to submit to psychological evaluation. Mental health professionals have signed a petition calling for his removal from office.

What it comes down to is an effort to understand and explain a president who acts so differently from every other person to have held his office. Mr. Trump’s self-absorption, impulsiveness, lack of empathy, obsessive focus on slights, tenuous grasp of facts and penchant for sometimes far-fetched conspiracy theories have invited armchair diagnoses and generated endless commentary.

“The level of concern by the public is now enormous,” said Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine and the editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” a book released last fall. “They’re telling us to speak more loudly and clearly and not to stop until something is done because they are terrified.”

As Politico first reported, Dr. Lee was invited to Capitol Hill last month to meet with about a dozen members of Congress to discuss the matter, and she has more meetings scheduled. All but one of the lawmakers she briefed are Democrats. While some Republicans have raised concerns, they do so mostly in private, and others scoff at the question, dismissing it as partisan politics.

Here’s the substance of today’s Twitter rant:

The whole thing brings to mind this scene from The Godfather, Part II:

David Frum comments:

Who and what Donald Trump is has been known to everyone and anyone who cared to know for years and decades. Before he was president, he was the country’s leading racist conspiracy theorist. Before he was the country’s leading racist conspiracy theorist, he was a celebrity gameshow host. Before he was a celebrity gameshow host, he was the multi-bankrupt least trusted name in real estate. Before he was the multi-bankrupt least trusted name in real estate, he was the protege of Roy Cohn’s repeatedly accused of ties to organized crime. From the start, Donald Trump was a man of many secrets, but no mysteries. Inscribed indelibly on the public record were the reasons for responsible people to do everything in their power to bar him from the presidency.

Instead, since he announced his candidacy in mid-2015, Donald Trump has been enabled and protected.

The enabling and protecting not only continues. It accelerates.

(…)

However crazy Trump may be, in one way he is indeed the “very stable genius” he claims to be: Trump understands how to mobilize hatred and resentment to his own advantage and profit. He has risen higher than Joe McCarthy or Charles Lindbergh or Theodore Bilbo—and he has lasted already nearly a full year in office, holding the approval of one-third of the country, more than sufficient to keep him there for a full term.

Michael Wolff has done a crucial service, showing more intimately than any reporter yet the true nature of the man at the center of the American system. But without the complicity of other power-holders, Trump would drop from his central position like a tooth from a rotten gum. What we need to do now is widen the camera angle beyond Fredo Trump to the hard-faced men and women over his shoulders. Those are the people who put Trump where he is, and keep him there, corrupting the institutions of American democracy and troubling the peace and security of the world.

To say the least, if you have to take to Twitter to defend your mental stability, then you’ve got real problems. This is especially true of a sitting President who has already had people question his stability and his grasp on reality based on the way he has behaved in public alone. What the Wolff book demonstrates is the fact that there are people around Trump who seem to have the same questions about him that people are raising on a regular basis based solely on what they see in public via his interactions with the media, his speeches, and his constant need to rant on Twitter and sometimes odd hours of the day when it seems like he ought to be spending time on more important matters.

If Donald Trump were just some random individual, this wouldn’t be a big deal. Unfortunately for us, though, he’s the President of the United States at least until the 20th of January, 2021. Because of that, these questions about his mental stability and judgment, both of which have been rightfully called into question, are entirely relevant and something that ought to worry average Americans and politicians in Washington. When we elect a President, we place an enormous amount of responsibility and power into the hands of an individual who, for better or worse, we have to trust will make the right choices even in situations where we might disagree with the choices that work. That requires believing that the person in question possesses the temperament, emotional stability, and maturity required to do the job. For the most part, we have had that throughout most of our history, and even in the case of Presidents who have made questionable choices it has been apparent that they were at least trying to do their best. Today we have a man who seems to get his news exclusively from Fox News Channel and who regularly engages in unhinged rants on social media even to the point about bragging about the size of his nuclear button.

That’s not a sign of a healthy mind, and it’s certainly not the sign of a person who belongs in the White House.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    Is he using some sort of automatic voice dictation now? Nobody would actually type “and being, like, really smart.”




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  2. Mikey says:

    the Democrats and their lapdogs, the Fake News Mainstream Media, are taking out the old Ronald Reagan playbook and screaming mental stability and intelligence…..

    I’m sure we all know the answer to this question, but…does Trump really not know Ronald Reagan actually exhibited early stages of Alzheimer’s while in office?




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  3. Mikey says:

    A different Tweet, but Mark Hamill’s response is glorious.

    @HamillHimself

    Congratulations, sir! This dignified, statesman-like tweet is the perfect way to counter the book’s narrative that you’re an impulsive, childish dimwit.

    @realDonaldTrump
    Michael Wolff is a total loser who made up stories in order to sell this really boring and untruthful book. He used Sloppy Steve Bannon, who cried when he got fired and begged for his job. Now Sloppy Steve has been dumped like a dog by almost everyone. Too bad! https://twitter.com/gop/status/949395088735723520

    11:47 PM – 5 Jan 2018




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  4. @Mikey: That occurred to me this morning as well.




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  5. CSK says:

    Trump’s whole Twitter rampage this morning just proves the point Wolff made.




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  6. michael reynolds says:

    Q: You know who would describe himself as a ‘stable genius?’
    A: An unstable moron.




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  7. CSK says:

    I also wonder how, or if, this will affect Trump’s stated plan to award prizes to the most fake and corrupt media this coming Monday at five p.m.




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  8. Modulo Myself says:

    He’s a blessed person:

    “Trump on ‘Fire and Fury’: “The libel laws are very weak in this country. If they were strong, it would be very helpful. You wouldn’t have things like that happen where you can say whatever comes to your head.”




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  9. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: if Trump decides to go through with it then Ol’ Sarah Huckabee Sanders will certainly stand up there in front of all those people and humiliate and debase herself just as The Moron-In-Cheif commands. People with self respect don’t work for Trump and never have.




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  10. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Oh, indeed she would, but I was wondering more if Trump will have forgotten about the awards by then.




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  11. CSK says:

    Another thing that occurs to me is that, given the absolute runaway success of Wolff’s book, how many other publishers will now be scrambling to sign up other Trash Trump Tomes?

    Omarosa, have you hired your ghostwriter yet?




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  12. Slugger says:

    Beyond the possibility of satire. There is nothing that can be added to this.
    I will be travelling in Canada in two weeks. I hope that they haven’t read this. I do feel an obligation to defend the USA when outside the country. My task just got very hard.




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  13. al-Ameda says:

    Kind of brings to mind Neil Young’s “Needle and the damage done.”

    What’s next? Perhaps Trump will hold a press conference and while eating 2 Big Macs he tosses rolls of paper towels to the assembled reporters.

    Basically, unless Democrats take back The House, Trump is here to stay.




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  14. James Pearce says:

    Master of puppets is calling your name.
    Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams
    Blinded by me, you can’t see a thing
    Just call my name and I’ll hear you scream.

    MASTER!

    (It’s rather self-evident that Trump isn’t a “very stable genius,” but hey….let’s debate it anyway.)




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  15. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    I don’t think anyone here is debating Trump’s genius. What’s of concern is that the man is offering written proof to the world that he’s off his rocker. This is the president of the United States who’s raving like a semi-literate lunatic on Twitter. You don’t find that bothersome?




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  16. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    “…it’s certainly not the sign of a person who belongs in the White House.”

    As Frum noted, a day late and a dollar short. Not your fault, Doug, you’ve been saying this all along as far as I can remember. This one goes on the GOP base and that vast swath of the country we call “Red State America.” And they don’t seem to realize anything is wrong.

    Other topic: Is it just me, or do other’s see the irony of Conservative America being identified as “Red States?” I’m probably just slow.




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  17. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce: Oh, please. We’re just pointing and laughing at him now.

    I didnt think it was possible, but Trump has actually jumped the shark.




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  18. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Trump is exactly what I’ve said he was since day one. He is stupid. When I first said that very few agreed, now everyone but the hardcore Trumpaloons and you, James, agree. You’re the guy who keeps telling us we’re being outfoxed by the wily Mr. Trump.

    He is stupid, narcissistic and predatory. He is incapable of empathy, a psychopath all attack and no reflection, all ambition and no humility. He is in the latter stages of a Duning-Kruger meltdown and quite likely the middle stages of Alzheimers. He is intellectually and emotionally incapable of performing as president. I even diagnosed his increasingly-obvious borderline illiteracy – probably an untreated learning disorder compounded by senility – soon after he announced.

    The reason people like you have had so much difficulty reaching the obvious conclusions about Trump is that it seems on its face so unlikely, so fantastic and bizarre. So you reflexively pooh-pooh it and rest on the comfortable assumption that what you’re seeing is what you expect to see. But you’re wrong. This is every bit as unlikely and bizarre as it seems to be and yet it is real.

    A stupid, mentally unstable person who every member of his staff thinks of as a ‘child,’ is in control of the power to annihilate the human race. No part of that sentence is an exaggeration. That is reality. That is why we are all freaked out. Not because we’re overreacting, but because we have correctly analyzed the evidence.




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  19. Scott F. says:

    Though he’s been far too great an enabler in the past, Frum is right about where the focus should be:

    What we need to do now is widen the camera angle beyond Fredo Trump to the hard-faced men and women over his shoulders. Those are the people who put Trump where he is, and keep him there, corrupting the institutions of American democracy and troubling the peace and security of the world.

    Trump is who he has always been and he’s proven somewhat impervious to the various bright spotlights pointing at his flaws. There’s no point in going after him. His destiny lies with Mueller and the outcome will be criminal, not political, in nature.
    But his enablers can be got. They are vulnerable in the 2018 midterms and likely sooner if their want of self preservation is strong.
    All attention should be put on how these pols protect and support Trump. Trump himself is beside the point.




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  20. grumpy realist says:

    genius?

    Heck, Trump probably can’t even integrate e to the x.




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  21. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    “Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had.”

    — Professor William T. Kelley, Wharton School




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  22. Franklin says:

    @grumpy realist: Are you saying something about his prowess in the bedroom???
    integral of e to the x




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  23. teve tory says:

    @grumpy realist: He would at least forget the +C

    :-p




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  24. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    You don’t find that bothersome?

    I do not find it bothersome that Donald Trump rages on Twitter like a nutter. I find it bothersome that Donald Trump is POTUS.

    I also find it bothersome that Trump gets up on a Saturday morning, spends about two minutes setting the agenda for the day, and then the American people get to spend the rest of the day talking about that stupid thing he said on Twitter.

    @Mikey:

    We’re just pointing and laughing at him now.

    I appreciate that. Do you see the people pointing and laughing at us for being so easily goaded by Trump’s tweets?

    @michael reynolds:

    You’re the guy who keeps telling us we’re being outfoxed by the wily Mr. Trump.

    When Trump comes from behind to win the election, when he flips states, when he seats his judge but Obama doesn’t seat his, when he –with a wave of his pen– wipes away hard-fought progress, when he colludes with Russia to strengthen his elector position and then colludes with Republicans to remake the tax code…..and all you can talk about his what he writes on Twitter?

    Yeah, he’s outfoxing you.

    I mean, much of this is absolutely true:

    He is stupid, narcissistic and predatory. He is incapable of empathy, a psychopath all attack and no reflection, all ambition and no humility. He is in the latter stages of a Duning-Kruger meltdown and quite likely the middle stages of Alzheimers. He is intellectually and emotionally incapable of performing as president.

    I’m not going to play armchair psychologist because that’s a bad look, but he is a horrible person who has no business being our president.

    This is why I want an opposition that is not superficially obsessed with minutiae, so we can get rid of him.

    Take a page out of Congressional Republicans’ playbook. “I will not comment on the president’s tweets.” We think of that as evasion, but what if it’s actually discipline?




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  25. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    You still seem to be missing the point. We talk abut Trump’s Tweets because the tone and content endanger the country. I’m not exaggerating.

    As I’ve said before, Trump’s Twitter feed presents a direct, unfiltered look at what passes for his thought processes. He’s telling world leaders (and hostile entities) exactly what they need to now in order to exploit and manipulate him.




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  26. MarkedMan says:

    Just pointing out that while Trump is in the middle of a melt down serious enough that it is finally registering with the vast majority of the country indifferent to politics, Pearce’s response is to stop talking about it. But he claims to be anti-Trump and concerned for the country. Just saying….




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  27. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    That is ridiculous advice. You evidently don’t like Twitter, but Trump does. It’s 2018, dude, a Tweet IS an official presidential statement. Are you waiting for him to start issuing policy papers? You think maybe he’ll write a book?

    He’s a fwcking moron who blurts idiocy on Twitter and thereby manages to cow every Republican in the country and you insist it’s not relevant? His Tweets directly impact foreign policy. His Tweets define how world leaders see him. And you insist we ignore them? Why? Because you’re still holding onto the utterly discredited notion that Trump is some secret chess master. That’s just nonsense. You have an idee fixe and are ignoring reality. Time to either admit you’ve been wrong or be increasingly ignored as yet another guy wandering into the weeds.




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  28. Mikey says:

    @James Pearce:

    Do you see the people pointing and laughing at us for being so easily goaded by Trump’s tweets?

    I don’t care if Trumpist idiots point and laugh at their intellectual and moral superiors.




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  29. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    We talk abut Trump’s Tweets because the tone and content endanger the country.

    No, they don’t. Donald Trump does.

    @MarkedMan:

    Pearce’s response is to stop talking about it

    Keep talking about it then. Trump is more than willing to play along.

    @michael reynolds:

    His Tweets directly impact foreign policy.

    Do they impact foreign policy or do they provide pretext for non-Twitter related issues?

    His Tweets define how world leaders see him.

    No, his phone calls do.

    And you insist we ignore them? Why?

    Because we have better things to do than respond to every inflammatory tweet from the president and he will offer nothing else. Think about this in terms of incentive. Trump uses twitter to consolidate his own support –he’s got Lindsey Graham in his pocket now– and distract his opposition.

    This has never happened before. We have no proven defense. Ignoring Twitter Trump is my best idea. I submit it’s better than amplifying Trump’s tweet to highlight how outrageous they are.

    @Mikey:

    I don’t care if Trumpist idiots point and laugh at their intellectual and moral superiors.

    You should. They may be intellectually and morally inferior, but they control the government. You thought “Lock her up” was a joke?




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  30. Mr. Prosser says:

    Just to lighten things up a bit, Tom Levenson posted this at Balloon Juice earlier:

    I am a very model of a Very Stable Genius
    I have a mighty button and no problem with my penius
    I have no time for television, golf or social media
    Since my brain is way way better than the best encyclopedia

    https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/01/06/aaaaaannnnnnnnd-cut/




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  31. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    James, you appear to be being deliberately obtuse about this. Of course Donald Trump himself endangers this country. We know that. So do his idiotic Tweets. This is the president of the United States. His Twitter feed is an official record of his thoughts, if I may use the word “thoughts” loosely. When he engages in a dick-measuring contest with Kim, there could be very unpleasant consequences.




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  32. @James Pearce: If Trump is a danger how can his words be harmless?




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  33. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    They can’t.




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  34. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    James, you appear to be being deliberately obtuse about this.

    Exactly




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  35. Bill says:

    A quote I like-

    “What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”- Oscar Levant




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  36. James Pearce says:

    @CSK:

    James, you appear to be being deliberately obtuse about this.

    Yeah, that is certainly a possibility.

    Prior to the rise of Trump, I would have predicted Twitter joining AOL, Blogger, and Vine in the Digerati Graveyard within the next decade. It always struck me as a kind of useless app, but its user base surprisingly found some uses. It remained a hive of abuse and troll-behavior. It wasn’t making any money. It didn’t have Xs in its eyes just yet, but it was not hard to see which direction it was going in the long run.

    But now I’m being told it’s an indelible part of our public life now, because Trump uses it? Maybe I am married to my idea of Twitter as a smartphone novelty not yet out of style, but I am not at all persuaded that because Donald Trump uses\abuses Twitter that the rest of America needs to as well.




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  37. @James Pearce: So, it seems that the root problem is that you don’t really get Twitter.

    But now I’m being told it’s an indelible part of our public life now, because Trump uses it?

    No one is saying that. Twitter was significant before Trump.

    Again: it is no different than a press conference. He speaks and people pay attention because he is president and it gets reported via other media as well as Twitter itself.

    Maybe I am married to my idea of Twitter as a smartphone novelty

    This would seem to be the case. Granted, it will one day fade, but you sound like someone in the 1930s saying that FDR’s fireside chats don’t matter because radio is just a fad that no one really takes seriously.




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  38. Franklin says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    So, it seems that the root problem is that you don’t really get Twitter.

    Actually, this may be something. I’ve been somewhat sympathetic to Pearce’s basic point (that the tweets are a general distraction that make us libs run around in circles). But I also admit that I don’t really get Twitter. It’s good for an occasional joke, but I never saw it as something serious to be considered when I form an opinion.




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  39. CSK says:

    @James Pearce:

    Trump has repeatedly claimed that he uses Twitter because it’s his vehicle for getting “the truth” to the American people. That’s the point.

    Trump can’t tell the truth, not just because he’s an inveterate liar, but because he has no grasp of objective reality. The truth is whatever he wants it to be at any given moment.




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  40. @Franklin:

    But I also admit that I don’t really get Twitter. It’s good for an occasional joke, but I never saw it as something serious to be considered when I form an opinion.

    Think of it is as micro-blogging: at a minimum it leads people to links and to various opinions.

    Many people get their breaking news from Twitter (indeed, I suspect for some people Twitter is their main news source).




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  41. @Steven L. Taylor:

    (indeed, I suspect for some people Twitter is their main news source).

    Or, more accurately, the gateway that leads them to their news.




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  42. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    it seems that the root problem is that you don’t really get Twitter.

    A year ago, yeah, I didn’t get it. Now? I think I get it.

    * If you have a lot of followers, you’re an influencer. If you have no followers, you’re nothing.
    * Tweets made by accounts with check marks are better than tweets made by random posters, who may be a bot.
    * Be pithy or be vague. Post a picture. Organize your threads properly.
    * Judge people quickly, block them accordingly.
    * Comment on politics all the time. (I tried to cultivate my feed some months ago, trying to make it less political. I started following music people, authors, sports guys. No randos. Only “who’s who” caliber folks. They talked about politics too!)
    * Jokes, memes, themes.
    * Promote, promote, promote. (Again, use a picture.)

    And you know, I’m glad I can come here, to an actual website, and compose actual thoughts and communicate with actual people who construct paragraphs and bring context and other perspectives (perspective, not just quips), because one of the benefits is that you can clarify your thinking.

    I’m not arguing that Twitter is unimportant. I’m arguing that it’s bad.




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  43. James Pearce says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I suspect for some people Twitter is their main news source

    That statement fills me with existential dread.

    #gorillachannel




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  44. @James Pearce:

    I’m not arguing that Twitter is unimportant. I’m arguing that it’s bad.

    And we come back to the conflation of the messenger and the medium.

    You might as well say you think press conferences are bad and therefore we should not pay attention to what Trump says at them.

    Sigh.




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  45. KM says:

    @James Pearce:

    I’m not arguing that Twitter is unimportant. I’m arguing that it’s bad.

    It doesn’t matter that you think it’s bad or that’s it’s unimportant, the people who actually use it are the ones who matter. You sound remarkably like those who poo-poo’d the internet back in the day and scoffed at the need for a business to have a website. Guess what happened to them? Your personal opinion of the medium is utterly pointless in terms of its effectiveness since you’re not a user. The facts are clear: this is a massive communications path to anyone and everyone that can access the internet with no filters, checks or required truth that tens of millions of people can see with their own eyes. And what the world sees is horrifying them.

    Whether you understand or care is irrelevant. To a good chunk of the world, Twitter is valid and what’s posted on it matters – that includes Trump voters who are now questioning WTF is going on, people around the world seeing the President lose his shit in real time, and our enemies who are seeing massive weakness on display for them to exploit. To pretend any of that isn’t true requires some deep denial about how reality works.

    Twitter may or not be inherently bad but what Trump’s doing on it is DEFINITELY bad. That you choose to blame the messenger is rather telling.

    I’m not going to play armchair psychologist because that’s a bad look

    From someone’s who no longer practicing, I can tell you if he’d been my client, I’d have sent him in for an MRI and further testing immediately. Aside from the blatant signs of NPD that are somewhat masking the issue, he’s exhibited at least 3 key symptoms of Alzheimer’s that would have made me professionally remiss to not follow up on. His medical this month is going to be dicey stuff – there’s absolutely no way they’re not going to find something damning so it’s going to come down to politics on whether they cover it up or not.




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  46. de stijl says:

    “I can handle things. I’m smart! Not like everybody says, like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect!”

    Trump is Fredo.




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  47. Tony W says:

    Donald J. Trump – the “J” is for “Jenius”




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  48. JohnMcC says:

    Depending on my mood I see two possible outcomes in the next few months. In one the Mueller investigation and public ridicule grow so close to actually indicting Pres Trump that there is a Reichstag Fire event that electrifies the Fox Nation and leads to the end of our experiment in democracy.

    When the sun is out and supper was great I think Mr Wolff has tipped our national tolerance for Pres Trump over the top of the great divide and there is an exhilarating ride ahead as our Mucilage Mussolini ends up in an orange jumpsuit and the world erupts in laughter.

    I haven’t decided which one is most likely but I’m having trouble with my optimism gear.




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  49. JohnMcC says:

    @James Pearce: Do I understand that you ‘use’ Twitter, then? Or ‘subscribe’ or ‘app’ it or whatever. That would seem peculiar but then you’ve gotten well enough acquainted with Twitter to have a strong opinion.

    I ask because I don’t Tweet or whatever the word one uses may be. And I don’t give a damn whether any particular insane remark from our President came from Twitter or Boy’s Life. I turn on my news sources and there it is. I don’t filter my news depending on it’s distantly original source. I judge by the impact of a story.

    Yet I find myself among the wider group here that you seem to accuse of following brightshinyobjects because Twitter! I don’t think that shoe fits.




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  50. MarkedMan says:

    @JohnMcC: I’ll add myself to those here who don’t have a twitter account and couldn’t imagine getting one. It seems like a Usenet comment group in your pocket, I.e. it might have had some appeal when there was a few users but now it’s just a dumpster fire. I’m not anti-technology by any means. I am a proven technology early adopter, i.e. I tend to adopt useful things once they have proven themselves. But after 50 years of this I’m a lot more skeptical of what will actually bring more pleasure or ease into my life. Forums which provide a random collection of impassioned lunkheads the opportunity to vent are pretty low on my list.




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  51. Kathy says:

    If Trump were half as smart as he thinks he is, he’d be twice as smart as he really is.




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  52. wr says:

    @James Pearce: “This is why I want an opposition that is not superficially obsessed with minutiae, so we can get rid of him.:

    And yet, the totality of your opposition is composed of whining about how other people don’t oppose him in the right way. You may not think that reacting to his tweets is helping the cause, but I’m pretty sure it’s more useful than any amount of whining about how people react to his tweets.




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  53. Pete S says:

    @Slugger: Unless you will be visiting people who live under rocks when you come, you will find we have read it. But don’t worry, most of us understand the difference between Trump supporters and normal people and we feel sympathy for the latter.




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  54. Liberal Capitalist says:

    Hey folks!

    I went snowboarding for the weekend… Did I miss anything?

    🙂




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  55. Jay Gischer says:

    I support @James Pearce’s thesis at least partially. Twitter is bad, Facebook is bad. For an explanation of this position see Zeynep Tufecki’s Ted talk: We’re building a dystopia just to get people to click on ads.

    The thing is, you can’t NOT pay attention to the president. That’s probably just as bad. I don’t have a good answer.

    When Silvio Berlusconi was finally defeated it was by a party and a candidate that ignored all the outrageous things he said and focused on what a crappy job he had done at delivering things and making Italy better. This is how I understand Pearce’s position.

    For Republicans, he has delivered. Judges and tax cuts, to name a few. Fewer illegal border crossings from Mexico for another. And yes, he is kind of a savant at mobilizing hatred and resentment.

    Is Trump actually helping the white working class of Michigan? I seriously doubt it. He can brag that he’s “saving jobs” all he wants, but their situation isn’t all that better than it was before. How does reducing illegal immigration actually help them? It doesn’t.




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